From Dr. Dre to J. Cole: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop

Travel back 16 years to 1999 when one of the most influential figures in the American hip-hop scene released The Aftermath, a groundbreaking album that sold over 6.6 million units in four years. Number 23 on Billboard’s Hot 100 at the time, “The Next Episode” featured on Andrew ‘Dr. Dre’ Young’s album sunk itself so […]

Reflections of Duke Through Soundscape Composition

A month ago, I read an article by Peter Cusack entitled “Interpreting the Soundscape” that offers a critical review and track by track analysis of the compilation album Noises Off: Sound Beyond Music. The album itself contains a diverse set of soundscape compositions, while the article aims to discern societal clues from the sounds (2006, […]

Sound Art: The Listening Experience

Sound Art In the last few decades, the term sound art has arisen within both the musical and artistic communities through an avant-garde use of sound to incentivize its interpretation. Components of Sound The unsuspecting acoustic environment supplies the medium for sound art. As all sounds in an environment collectively compose a soundscape of the acoustic […]

The Power and Emotion of Music

How connected do you feel to music? Music is innate to humans, no known human culture has survived without some sort of music (Levitin). Music can be an extremely powerful object, but what makes music have such a dominant presence in all of humans’ lives? After all music is just sound waves traveling through the […]

The Sonic Journey of a Soldier

INTRODUCTION A Meditation on Normal Sonic Tendencies Embedded in Human Culture The human experience results from our cumulative life experiences. As we see, feel, and hear our way through life, we will all travel through different landscapes, emotional states and soundscapes. All objects emit sensory information that influences who we are and the lives we […]

What is Music?

INTRODUCTION What is music? Is it just a series of notes and rhythms, or something more? The purpose of this entry is to provide an overview, and hopefully a new perspective on something we all interact with every day. We will examine the purpose of music, the general theories regarding the definition of music, and […]